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anything that speaker boehner said make you optimistic? was it just that urgency that you're talking about? >> well, it's the urgency, but i think the spirit at the table was one of everybody wants to make the best effort to get this done. hopefully that is possible. hopefully it is possible by the middle of december so the confidence of the markets and, most importantly, the confidence of the consumers returns to infuse our economy with demand, which creates jobs. >> you said afterwards there would be these milestones of success. how will that work? what are the goals? are there interim goals? >> well, my suggestion was that we at some point, not necessarily today, decide on what our goal is in terms of the amount of deficit reduction that we can achieve, some date by which we'd like to do it, the middle of december so this doesn't take us up to christmas, some milestones along the way so progress can be demonstrated we're moving in a forward direction. >> i spoke to senator michael bennet of colorado earlier this week. he said this really comes down to speaker boehner and president obama
asked speaker boehner if you are now the de facto leader of the republican party. and his answer was, oh, i wouldn't think so. paul ryan is a policy wonk. >> i take that as a great compliment from john. >> reporter: is that your role in the republican party, the house policy wonk? >> i have also been one of the house policy wonks. my role is to continue to be a champion of ideas, to help our party be a reform party that shows how we get economic growth. >> reporter: i asked ryan about speculation that he would be an early front-runner for the republican presidential nomination in 2016. he told me it is way too early to even think about the next presidential race. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> he also said another reason that his team lost is that turnout in the urban areas in the country was so high, but they also lost in states with few minorities and rural areas, iowa, new hampshire. if you look at a lot of the president's poll numbers, there was more at play than folks of color coming out in support. that's one important part of the narrative but not the full story. so, inte
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